Nashville SkylineA couple of months ago, Omnisound Studios (www.omnisoundstudios.com) was acquired by Billy Austin's Platinum Pen company. The new owner has made good 2/01/2008 7:00 AM Eastern
A couple of months ago, Omnisound Studios (www.omnisoundstudios.com) was acquired by Billy Austin's Platinum Pen company. The new owner has made good on his promise to keep the existing studio, gear and staff in place, including manager/former co-owner Steve Tveit. In fact, Austin also acquired the neighboring property originally built by MasterMix owner Hank Williams. That property — which has seen a couple of other owners since Williams moved to his current studio on Division Street — is now officially part of Omnisound Studios. “We've doubled in size,” Tveit reports. “We have a complex. We just outfitted the rooms with new gear and kept the original build-out. The rooms themselves already sounded great.” Most of the neighboring space comprises a new mix room, now centered around a Digidesign ICON.
For 20 years, Omnisound has remained the kind of mid-priced studio that supports the recording industry from above and below. Tveit and his staff offer front-to-back services for newer artists: hooking them up with songwriters, session musicians and technical personnel if needed, and offering recording packages that range from three-song demos to CD-length projects. Austin also owns an independent publishing company, which Tveit says will further expand the range of services he can offer.
The studio continues to be a favorite among established artists looking for high-end service and gear in a creative atmosphere. Most recently, country/bluegrass artist Dan Tyminski of O Brother, Where Art Thou? fame took advantage of the expanded facilities, tracking a new solo album for Rounder in Omnisound's API Legacy-centered Studio A and moving to the new ICON room for overdubs and mixing.
Omnisound is also celebrating a Grammy nomination for Miranda Lambert's single “Famous in a Small Town,” from her sophomore release Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Both of Lambert's studio albums for Sony were recorded in Studio A with producer Frank Lidell and engineer/mixer Mike Wrucke. “Miranda's production team have become great friends of ours,” Tveit says. “Mike has been a client of ours for years, and he and Frank had these amazing musicians coming in from all over the place. They hand-picked those musicians because they were really after a signature sound — to do something creative that doesn't sound like everything else coming out of Nashville. I think that's our strength as well: to foster a creative atmosphere.
Another memorable project created at Omnisound in '07 was the late Porter Wagoner's last album, Wagonmaster, produced by Marty Stuart and engineered by Joey Turner. That album was a fantastic labor of love, and Rick Clark wrote in depth about the production in Nashville Skyline exactly one year ago in this space.
Speaking of Rick Clark, “Nashville Skyline” readers may have been wondering about him for the past few months. After five years of writing this column, Rick (who can still be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org) has moved on to focus more of his considerable talents on producing music and supervising music for films. Peter Cooper will step into the job of “Nashville Skyline” columnist, beginning with our March issue. Cooper is a superb staff writer for the Nashville Tennessean, as well as a teacher and musician. Stay tuned.
Barbara Schultz is a Mix assistant editor.